Weather was nice here in eastern Oklahoma this weekend, though there was a little rain Friday evening (we could use a lot more).
David and Donald were able to till plot 2C Friday and 1B Saturday. They started running into more rocks and old roots. While the pasture looks fairly level and clear, there are several "mounds" and, as was discovered, rocks and roots hiding just beneath the surface.
|David Tilling Plot 1B|
Current plans call for lettuce and radish to be planted in plot 1B (lettuce in February and radish in March) and carrots and tomatoes in plot 2C (carrots in February and tomatoes in April).
We have our plots now laid out and a tentative planting schedule in place. Planting should begin in February. We will also need to start seeding transplant beds by February (tomatoes and peppers).
Donald has been spending a lot of time researching seed. Deciding what variety of seed and what supplier to use has become a major concern. As we have been discussing, our intent is to plant heirloom seed that is certified organic. While there are a number of seed suppliers that offer certified organic seed, there are very few that offer heirloom seed (some include Sand Hill Preservation Center, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds). There are even fewer that have a reasonable selection of certified organic heirloom seeds. The only supplier with a decent selection appears to be Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
We are also learning that there is no consistency in pricing. Some price their seed by the ounce, some by the gram, and some by seed count, which makes comparing prices a sometimes overbearing task. We will be posting our results as soon as they are in, hoping to save other backyard or small acreage farmers some time.
On top of all of the planning, we are coming to the realization that even small acreage farming can be adversely affected by the larger farming community. It appears that our seed choices in 2013 will be further limited by the drought that has plagued farmers for the past two years (and may be going into the third year). Being resilient farmers is going to be very important over the next year or so. Fortunately, we are confident that our farm plan has enough flexibility to change with the conditions.
Our long-term goal is to save our own seed for planting the following year, however, we will not be able to do this for several years. First, we need to determine what crops grow best, then we will need to determine what varieties grow best and are the most profitable. Once the results are in, we will need to be very detailed in our planting schedule to ensure that we do not cross-polinate crops.
The one good thing is that we will not have to (we hope) spend so much time on planning after this year. We will have our base planning done, and will only need to worry about what crops we will be planting and when we will be planting them. We do know that saving and planting our own seed will further ensure the success of our farm operations.
We hope to order our chickens and turkeys by either the end of this year or the very beginning of next year for spring delivery (see the 12NOV11 post for our tentative delivery dates).
Until next week;
Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms
"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you." Hosea 10:12